WILMINGTON -- As the school year kicks off the New Hanover County school system gets some grades of its own -- mixed grades at best. The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to have annual progress reports. While the results are positive for some county schools, they're troubling for others. The results are in from the Adequate Yearly Progress reports required for public schools. Of New Hanover County's 35 schools, 14 made the Adequate Yearly Progress. That's 40 percent of the county's schools. New Hanover County Interim Superintendent Al Lerch says, still, schools generally did well. "It's going to be our challenge to focus on those subgroups and come up with some specific interventions where we can be much more successful with all the children," Lerch said. Students are placed into subgroups based on factors like race and economic stability. Parents who have children at five elementary schools have the option of transferring their kids to other local schools based on these results. Lerch said, "If you're a member of a subgroup that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress, this would be something that you might want to consider, but if your child is successful in the elementary school that they're at, just because the elementary school missed a subgroup, doesn't mean you should change schools." If they wish, parents can transfer their children out of Snipes, Wrightsboro, Sunset Park, Williams and College Park and send them to a number of other local schools. Letters were sent out to parents late last week. Lerch said, "The issue and the challenge for us is how to be successful now with all of the students, including those specific target groups where we weren't successful." Lerch wants to emphasize to parents the importance of making sure applications to transfer are postmarked by tomorrow. He says his goal is to double the county's success rate for this progress report over the course of the next year.
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